Lang Gérard gerard.lang at
Thu Jun 10 16:35:18 CEST 2010

As the  ISO 639/RA-JAC (the JAC) has been established "to guide the application of the coding rules as laid down in (the different parts of) ISO 639, and as ISO 639 "Scope and field of application", as stated by ISO 639 (1988) is:
"This International Standard provides a code for the representation of  names of languages. The symbols were devised primarily for use in terminology, lexicography and linguistics, but they may be used for any application requiring the expression of (names of) languages in coded form ...", 
I cannot, as a JAC member, agree with the affirmation that there is no bearing in JAC possible action only because there would be enough evidence that Montenegrin and Serbian are linguistically identical (And I also do not share this hypothesis as evident).
But, in the case that we should agree that Montenegrin and Serbian are linguistically equivalent, then we would also be obliged to recognize that Bosniac and Serbian are linguistically equivalent. And so, we would be obliged to conclude that Bosniac and Montenegrin MUST be treated on an equal footing. 
Gérard LANG


	De : ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] De la part de Peter Constable
	Envoyé : jeudi 10 juin 2010 16:14
	À : ietflang IETF Languages Discussion (ietf-languages at
	Objet : Montenegrin

	Since Montenegro decided to refer to their official language using a distinct name from that used by their neighbors, the question has come up on a few occasions as to whether "Montenegrin" should be coded in ISO 639 distinct from Serbian. This raises various questions in my mind regarding implications of such a change, and I'm curious to know if people on this list have comments. 


	In raising this, I'd ask people not to rat-hole on how different Serbian and Montenegrin are linguistically: there's enough evidence that they can appropriate be considered a single language in terms of linguistic criteria, and so that would have no bearing whatsoever in possible JAC action.


	Some questions that come to my mind:


	-          Given the established practice of coding "Bosnian", "Croatian" and "Serbian" distinctly, how problematic would it be for users and implementers if "Montenegrin" was handled differently, simply being listed as one of the alternative names for sr / srp?


	-          Will users really distinguish "Montenegrin" language from "Serbian" language when reading books, newspapers, etc.; when listening to radio, television, music, etc.; when buying dictionaries, hiring translators, etc?


	-          Will librarians and other cataloguers really distinguish content in "Montenegrin" vs. "Serbian"?


	-          How will content developers that deal with localization be impacted? E.g., as developers of software or large websites, video media publishers dealing with alternate-language audio tracks or closed-caption content?


	-          In what ways would "sr-ME" versus "sr-RS" be less than fully adequate for users' needs?





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